A right Royal tribute from Grandad written when he was 84 years of age.

Phil said to Bess “You’ve still got me for a mate
You deserve a trip around the real estate
We can see all the kids while you are still in the pink
And at the same time we’ll get a free drink

royalfamily

So off they went for a tour of the realm
With Bess in the back and Phil at the Helm
We’ll call on our Chuck at the house with the towers
But when they got there he was addressing the flowers

“Move on” said Bess, “Our Annie’s not far”
So Phil put his foot down and followed the star
Arriving there they were told she was riding
And they couldn’t find Tim as he was in hiding.

“Never mind” said Phil, “We can go on to the Valley
The grandson’s there and the Welsh are quite pretty
When they arrived Kate was sobbing and sighing
“It just isn’t fair, Will is always out flying”

Head North was the answer and over the Border
Once in Scotland there was a castle at Cawdor
Reaching there with high hopes of a whisky
The Laird was out and the butler was tipsy

“Head for York” said Bess “We there find Andy”
“Great” said Phil “I’ll settle for shandy”
He was there all right with the Rajah of Poonei
Arranging a flight to the Sultan of Brunei

“Come on” said Phil with a touch of rancour
“Down in Wessex, we’ll be able to anchor”
The gates were all closed, Ed and Soph were in purdah
They were in with the nanny screaming blue murder

Phil looked at Bess, Bess looked at Phil
It was beginning to seem they were both over the hill
They had done two thousand miles, seen no kids and no booze
They said “Next time we trip, it’ll be on a cruise”

So back to the Smoke and the semi so humble
Even though the walls were beginning to crumble
“Three cheers” said Phil, raising his glass
“I’ve still got you and you’re a game old lass”

Written by my 84 year old Dad who has one foot in the blog.

Twin Mummy and Daddy

Divine Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle Cake recipe

By Linda Collister

Very pretty and special – For Valentine’s Day

Makes one large cake

Ingredients

For the sponge:
200g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
4 tbsps Amaretto Disaronno (amaretti liqueur)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar plus 3 tbsps extra
6 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, separated
A good pinch cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
125g plain flour
25g flaked almonds
125g fresh raspberries
For the icing:
150g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
1 tablespoon Amaretto Disaronno
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

To decorate: fresh raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate shards or curls

Equipment
21cm springform tin, greased and base-lined

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4.

Put the chocolate and Amaretto into a heatproof bowl.
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the bowl from the pan, stir the chocolate gently until smooth then leave to cool until needed.

Beat the butter until creamy, using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. Then beat in the 200g sugar (save the rest for later). When the mixture looks very light and fluffy beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until just frothy, then add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stands in soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Using a large metal spoon gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the ground almonds. Add a quarter of the egg whites and fold in. Sift half the flour on to the mixture and fold in, then half the remaining egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour and whites. Gently fold in the flaked almonds and raspberries, using just a couple of movements so the mixture is not over-worked, then spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.

Bake in the heated oven for 55-60 minutes until just firm to touch and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin then leave to cool and firm up on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unclipping the tin.

When completely cold set the cake on a serving platter.

To make the icing melt the chocolate with the Amaretto as before, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter and syrup to make a smooth and glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring form time to time, until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake.

Leave to set and just before serving decorate with raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and chocolate shards or curls.

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wedsbloghopChicken stir fry recipe

Soy Seasoned Chicken Stir Fry.

An aromatic dish, flavoured with Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese five spice powder.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
225g (8oz) basmati or long grain rice
3tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1tsp runny honey
1tbsp Chinese five spice powder or paste
1tsp chopped fresh parsley
450g (1lb) skinless boneless chicken breasts, diagonally sliced strips
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
150g (5oz) baby sweetcorn, halved lengthways
150g (5oz) oriental mushrooms such as Enoki
Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  1. Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan. Cover with enough water to cover the rice by 2.5cm (1inch). Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer over a very low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Mix together the soy sauce, honey and Chinese five spice powder and parsley. Pour over the chicken and toss well to coat evenly.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok and fry the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade and stir fry for 5 minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir fry for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with cooked rice and garnish with coriander leaves

Pork wraps recipe

A classic Chinese dish, made using lean pork with a wonderful Kikkoman soy sauce glaze.

 

Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cals per serving: 420

Fat: 12

Carbs: 29

Sugars: 13.9

Salt.: 3g

 

700g loin of pork joint, fat and skin removed.

5 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

2 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsptomato puree

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder

12 –16 Chinese pancake wrappers

6 tbsp hoi sin sauce

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 small cucumber, finely sliced

 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas 5. Make 6 x 2.5cm deep cuts into the pork joint.
  2. Line a roasting tin with a double layer of tin foil and place the pork in the centre.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the Kikkoman Soy Sauce, sugar, orange juice,tomato puree and Chinese five spice powder. Spoon over the pork, then scrunch up the foil around the sides of the pork to form an open parcel and roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Finely slice the meat, shredding it if possible and toss back into the roasting tin with the cooking juices. Baste with the flavoured juices and grill for 5 minutes, to crisp up the meat.
  5. To serve: warm the wrappers and spread with a little hoi sin sauce, a scattering of spring onions and cucumber. Top with the crispy pork and roll up.

 

http://kikkoman.co.uk

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Five biscuits seems like a lot of favourites but they have always played a part in my life so here you go!

It is funny how hard it is to concentrate on biscuits and not get caught up with chocolate bars, cakes and all manner of things.  Biscuits, think biscuits.

five biscuits

1. Custard Creams – I would not say they are the tastiest in the world but they have that comfortable sense of familiarity about them.  Can you remember a time when you did not know what a custard cream was?  They remind me of home.  These days, they are the biscuit of choice when my children come home from school and run through to Grandad’s biscuit tin.  There was also the rather embarrassing incident when I was a teenager and in a drunken state asked a Catholic priest whether he would like a “Cussy Wussy” whilst leaning over him in a most inappropriate way.  I was never really destined to be a nun.

2. Bourbons – They are as familiar as custard creams.  However, they are better because they involve chocolate.  You can probably tell a lot about a person by the way they eat these delights.  I take off the top layer and then lick the cream.  Yes, even now that I am a grown-up girl.

3. Millies Cookies – These are wonderfully calorific and naughty.  They come in all sorts of flavours and are so tasty.  One of the main reasons I like them is that I associate them with becoming an adult and making my own choices.  When I went to college, a new friend took me to the kiosk where they were selling them.  She already knew all about them and was amazed I did not do so.  There were many things I had to learn at aged 18 and cookies were just the start.  Of course, my children take trips to Millies for granted because times really have changed a lot.

4. Digestives – I am probably cheating here but I include both the plain and the chocolate ones.  I love the taste of the plain ones and there is no better comfort for period pain or any sort of angst than a packet (or three!) of choccy digestives. Weirdly, you could be disgusting and binge eat them with female friends but blokes and children tend to make comment about your gluttony.

5.  Fox’s Biscuits – I am loyal to my roots and love all Fox’s Biscuits.  I was brought up within a couple of miles of the biscuit factory.  Most of my Mum’s friends and relations had worked there at some point.  If you stayed for 25 years on the production line, they rewarded you with a gold watch.  However, you had to put up your hand if you needed the loo so someone could take your place.  My friend H went to work there briefly and was making brandy snaps.  She hated the smell and I seem to remember her then boyfriend bought her some brandy snaps once as a gift and she nearly threw them at him.  There is a particular chocolate biscuit that Fox’s make that I like with a bumper outer biscuit layer and chocolate inside.  However, you can’t really go wrong with any Fox’s biscuits.

Perhaps we should all confess whether we are dunkers or not?  I confess to dunking.

What are your five favourite biscuits?